It’s time for another edition of Organized Classroom’s Terrific Teaching Tools! This week, I am going to admit something: I am a bit of a pocket chart junkie.
Whew! It feels better to have just said it out loud. In all honesty, I have loads of pocket charts, with most of them still sitting in nice packaging because I haven’t gotten around to using them for anything – YET.
I am not normally a hoarder. In fact, just watching that A&E Hoarders show gives me the willies. I immediately go clean something after watching it. It freaks me out – a lot!
So, it is amusing to me that I have stashes of used and new pocket charts in every corner. Actually, I didn’t realize just how many pocket charts I had until quite recently.
As most of you know, I have just moved into a new home, and as I was looking through my office boxes last night to start organizing, I kept finding pocket charts everywhere!
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Perhaps I should donate them to a teacher in need, but I don’t think I can part with my charts quite yet. (We all have weird quirks, right?)
As an ode to my pocket chart collection, I thought I would post some of the types I have and how I use them.
Calendar Pocket Chart
Lets begin with my most important pocket chart in my classroom: the calendar pocket chart. It is always the first thing I put up and the last I take down.
I always get so excited to put it up in August, but I sure am happy to take it down in June – HA!
This picture shows a set of colorful numbers, but I have some cute ones similar to these. I have a different set for each month (you just CAN’T have fall leaves in January!), as well as a set of the holiday/birthday cards to slide on top of the day, if needed. BUT, as I was searching for a picture – these are super cute as well! (hmmmmm…)
Daily Schedule Pocket Chart
The next type of pocket chart is the daily schedule pocket chart.
After teaching third grade for about 3.2 days, I quickly figured out that while I knew what the daily schedule was, I quickly tired of hearing the students ask every minute of every day what we would be doing next.
Now I save my voice and just point in the direction of my handy dandy pocket chart. Plus, the kids keep me on track if I happen to fall behind somewhere!
Just for the record, I don’t use the fancy time or activity cards that come with the set. I never have such nice schedules in my day.
My times are usually whacky like reading 9:05-10:40 or Math from 11:25-11:45 and 12:25-12:50 (because lunch is stuck in the middle).
So, I have found that simple colorful sentence strips cut up with my times and subjects seem to work just as well, and as easy to change when I inevitably am forced to change them three times in the first week as adjustments are made.
Math Pocket Charts
While I rarely use my counting pocket chart with older kids, when I taught first grade, it was used on a daily basis. I can’t imagine starting the day without counting our straws out and getting closer to that 100th day with every new bundle we created!
I also love this Daily Math Pocket Chart. What a great way to begin the day by enforcing and reviewing basic math skills every single day.
Now I feel as though I have to go through my boxes and get my pocket charts out again to check to see how else I can use them. Here is a fun picture library of some new products I haven’t seen before and some I have shown below. Maybe you will get some new ideas as well.
How do you use pocket charts in your classroom? I would love to hear in a comment below.